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New channels join Facebook’s Free Basic via SA incubation org

The first group of organisations to launch a channel on Facebook’s Free Basics platform with the help of the social network and the Praekelt Foundation, have been revealed.

Announced in November last year, South Africa’s Praekelt Incubator for Free Basics was set up to support developers and social change organisations in their efforts to build accessible online services designed mostly by and for people living in the developing world, accessible on Free Basics (previously known as Internet.org).

Over 50 partner organisations have been selected by an external independent international selection panel following a rigorous evaluation process. This covers sectors including health, economic empowerment, youth, gender equity, youth, agriculture, citizen engagement, and education, and are based in different regions of Africa and Asia.

The following channels are now live on Free Basics:

  • She Inspires Her, an organisation aimed at inspiring upcoming entrepreneurs and promoting small but growing women-owned businesses on the African continent.
  • HelpMeSee which eradicates preventable blindness caused by cataracts
  • SEED Madagascar which teaches people in Madagascar better English though their SEED English mobi-site
  • Edukayson a site in the Philippines working towards zero unemployment through helping young people plan their education for careers.
  • Da Subject Matter, part of Planned Parenthood and based in Nigeria.
  • African Trust Academy inspires and educates people by providing financial education based credit scoring to increase financial inclusion.
  • WeFarm aims to help farmers to improve their lives with increased access to information from animal husbandry and planting to fertilisation and harvesting crops.
  • doctHERs connects women by aiming to influence health-seeking behavior and improving their health and ultimately transforming lives.
  • Vahan.co aim to make education more accessible and effective for low-income populations, for the purpose of enhancing their employability.
  • We Dream Africa is a digital African-themed platform that delivers engaging family friendly educational and entertaining ebooks.

“Being selected to participate in the Praekelt Incubator has been an incredible opportunity,”Lisa O’Donoghue-Lindy, founder of She Inspires Her, said in a statement.

“We’re a small social enterprise and have bootstrapped all our initiatives to date so it’s been a huge boost to access the platform and receive highly responsive technical support to enable us to get our content into the hands of those who needs it most – entrepreneurial women with little to no internet access who need support in starting and growing businesses.”

“Praekelt believes that access to essential information and basic services is a human right. When people have access to the tools and knowledge that the internet and other digital communication technologies provide, they have access to opportunities that will make their lives better,”said Praekelt Group Founder and CEO, Gustav Praekelt.

“We are proud to announce our first successful Praekelt Incubator for Free Basics partners and are excited to see the Program grow in the coming months.”

Praekelt said it is committed to launching 100 sites by the end of the year.

For those who’d like to apply to join the incubator, applications are still being accepted. You can apply on the Praekelt site.

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